Tiger Mom, Maybe; Ninja Mom, Definitely

Mother: Hey, did you hear anything about any new after school language classes coming up?

Child: Whaddaya mean?

Mother: You know, like the French class you took after school last year?

Child: Huh?

Mother: You know, like the French class that's taught by the high school students who come to your school one afternoon a week for a few months to teach you a foreign language?

Child: Uh...I dunno.

Mother: So, if I email your teacher or look through your backpack, I won't find out that there's another after school language class starting soon?

Child: Oh, that.

Mother: Yes, that.

Child: I don't really want to do that again.

Mother: It's not an option.

Child: But, I already...!

Mother: Hold on. Before you say anything else, let me tell you that I'll gladly listen to your argument, but you're not going to win this one. I already know that. I know how this is going to end: with you going to language class.

Child: Sigh.

Mother: So?

Child: I have the sign-up paper in my backpack.

Mother: Good!

Mother: Oh look! And today is the deadline to sign-up! Lucky for us!

Child: How did you know that today would be the deadline? How did you know to ask about this today?

Mother: I know everything.

Child: Heavy sigh. You probably actually do.

Mother: I think Chinese this time. Your sister can help you.

Child: No, she won't.

Mother: Oh yes. Oh yes she will.

Child: How do you know?

Mother: Oh...I just know.


MommyTime said...

I want to be you when I grow up.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

If I wasn't the one doing the teaching, I could totally be like this. (heh)

Blog Antagonist said...

When are they going to LEARN that we are ominpotent, omnipresent and omnipowerful??? I have demonstrated that fact time and time again and still they try to put one over on me...silly kids.

josetteplank.com said...

Mommy Time, you know you already are. ;-)

Fairly, I know... I tried to teach one child the piano. FAR more tears than with someone else doing the teaching. But I see this no matter if it's in Girl Scout or parents helping at school or at the skating rink: when a parent is there, kids do a little more negotiating, a little more whining, a little more depending on the parenting as a "punching bag" or cry towel to get out of what they don't want to do. ;-)

If I were homeschooling, I'd have to depend more on child-led learning (which I like as an education philosophy) or co-op learning, I think, especially as they got older (and which I do with my kids as they get older anyway...let out the leash more...and I think it is what I see with some of my homeschooling friends as well). At least for some things. I think I'd still have my "must dos", but yeah, I'd have to be prepared to dig my feet in harder at times.

This particular child needs a little more "work ethic", moreso than Chinese class, though. ;-)

Blog, I don't know...they still try to put one over on me (as you see here!) Keeps me sharp, anyway. :-)

Laura said...

I need some Tiger Ninja Mom vibe with my 7 year old in the moment. He wants to quit wrestling because he always loses. I need to make him see that just because he's not good at something, he should keep doing it anyway.

Loved this, Josette.

Unknown said...

We had much the same conversation a week ago with our son, who "neglected to turn in the form" for All-City Chorus, for which he'd already auditioned. Guess what? He's in All-City Chorus now. Grrrr.

josetteplank.com said...

Alleghator, yeah, "Didn't turn in the form" could just be forgetful, or another message that kid didn't really want to do it. In this case, our other non-negotiables trumped...for the time being. I've also been in situation when constant forgetfulness meant pulling kid out of activity for a while. It's so much gut feeling, so little science to this, isn't it?

Laura...ah yes. Parenting sports psychology...when to push, when to let go. My friend Xanboni is a skating coach, but she has some great info that applies to all sports. Take a look at this one in particular:


This one is good, too:


Then go to her sidebar and click on "Coaching" label. Good coaching is good parenting, and there is no one size fits all. :-)

An important thing we've learned in competitive sports is to set daily, weekly, and monthly personal goals apart from competitive goals. Use sticker charts. Make sure training sessions are ending on a "good note". If there are enough measurable positives, the competitive negatives will be easier to take. That said, backing off from competition but still training (and cross training could still be wrestling training) could keep him in it without sucking the joy from it. Finally, talking to coach and having older "cool teen" wrestlers talk to him about rough years is a big help, too.

That said, if after all that your intuition does tell you "this is it, he's done", that's okay. He's young. Skater child went through 8 different sports experiments before she found something she liked enough to work through the hard parts.

josetteplank.com said...

But even if he does quit, I'd make sure it's on a good note altogether. Work with coach to come up with some goal and work on it to success. "Winning" can be a goal, but if it's the only goal, the positive reinforcement can come far and few between. For a younger kid, successes need to come a bit sooner - after work, yes, but a bit more steady.

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